You probably already know how important it is for seniors to stay active - physically, mentally, and socially. Seniors who sit at home alone tend to feel isolated, become depressed, and can also suffer from physical ailments due to lack of movement. One way for seniors to check all the activity boxes - physical activity, mental health, and socialization - is through dancing.
Five Dancing Benefits for Seniors
Heart and Cardiovascular health - Dancing for seniors is a fun, low-impact way to get cardio exercise into your life. This is particularly helpful if you find walking to be boring, or aren’t interested in taking an aerobics class. Dancing provides enough cardio to burn calories! So dancing can also help manage weight.
Builds strength and endurance - Dancing requires you to use almost every muscle in your body to resist your body weight as you move. In this way, dancing is a full-body workout. Building muscle strength also helps with balance, and can help prevent falls. Elderly dancing also requires some coordination, whether you are dancing in a group or with a partner. If you don’t have a ton of coordination, to begin with, it will get better as you practice. You may even gain some flexibility as you move through various steps.
Socialization - you can’t dance alone! Well, you can, but it is certainly more fun with a partner or group. Many community centers offer dance classes for older adults. Not only will you be able to dance and exercise, but you will also meet like-minded people your own age, something that can be a challenge for the elderly. Getting out of the house and being social is also great for your mental health.
Improved cognitive function - Research shows that one to two hours a week of dancing can improve cognitive skills. The memorization of steps and the focus required by dancing result in increased brain activity, which promotes better cognitive function. Additionally, the combination of cardiovascular exercise and the need to make quick decisions promotes the creation of new neural pathways in the brain. Brain health is important at any age, but some research suggests dancing may be one of the best ways to stave off dementia.
Promotes independence - A senior who feels better and is healthier can do more things on their own. The increased strength and flexibility gained after a few months of dancing could be enough to allow you to walk quickly across the street without assistance, or make it to the restroom in a hurry. Both of those tasks are simple but allow a senior more freedom. More independence means improved mental health.
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Would you have guessed there were so many benefits of dancing for older people? If this article sparked your interest, don’t be afraid to give dancing a shot! There are many different types of dance, and you can definitely find one that suits you.